If you’re reading this, you’re probably running Windows 7 in 800×600 or 1024×768 resolution with a default PnP monitor even though you’ve got an ATI graphics card that supports higher resolutions.
ATI was quick enough to release Windows 7 drivers for higher-end cards which you can download here but if you try to install the setup with an older graphics card (such as an ATI Radeon Xpress 1150), the setup fails to install because the graphics card is not supported. I wasn’t surprised, as my graphics card wasn’t mentioned in the release notes of the Windows 7 drivers but I tried installing the Vista equivalent (Catalyst version 9.3) hoping that would work, which unfortunately didn’t.
Without these drivers, you can’t load screensavers, use Aero or use taskbar previews and the display appears slightly blurred.
I found a solution by using an older driver (so old that it isn’t even mentioned on ATI’s Older Releases page) and although the Catalyst software didn’t work, the display driver works fine and I can use Aero, view taskbar previews and pretty much do everything else.
You will need to download ATI Catalyst Driver version 7.11 for your card to work properly with Windows 7 which you can download here for the 32-bit version or here for the 64-bit one. Although the drivers are for Vista, they will work for Windows 7 as well. I haven’t been successful running a higher version of ATI’s drivers, so let me know if you’ve succeeded running a higher version.
Windows 7 RC boots faster and even runs slightly better than Windows XP and I haven’t had problems with application compatibility so far and I advise you all to give it a try.
Version 8.12 works as well. Download it from here
I was forced to reinstall Windows 7 RC for irrelevant reasons, and this time Windows 7 automatically downloaded the driver for the Radeon Xpress 1150 Card after the OS setup was complete.
The update appears as a recommended download in Windows update and although it states that the driver publish date is 27th April 2009, the actual driver is version 8.421.000 and was released in September 2007. The driver installed by ATI’s 8.12 Catalyst setup is version 8.561.000 which was released in December 2008.
Games work perfectly fine and so does Aero and Aero Peek although I personally feel that games ran noticeably faster with the v8.12 driver. Also, the pre-startup screen logo animation is not displayed with the default driver that Windows installs.
Still, I recommend updating the driver to version 8.12.
I haven’t had the opportunity to try this on the retail version of Windows 7 yet, but I’ll update this post as soon as I do.
If you use DriverMax, it suggests a newer driver for the ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 having version 8.593.100.0 released on 27th April 2009. I guess this was the driver that Microsoft intended to bundle with its Windows update (read Update 2) so I went ahead and installed it.
The driver worked fine until I started a couple of games, which is when I noticed that this driver cannot resize the screen to a lower resolution. What it does instead is reduce the resolution of the game instead of the screen. For example, I chose 800×600 resolution for a game and instead of resizing the screen, the driver maintained the usual 1280×800 resolution for the screen and reduced the game to 800×600 resulting in the game taking up only a small portion of the screen.
After uninstalling the driver and reverting to the previous one, everything was back to normal. Moral of the story: DO NOT install version 8.593.100.0 !!!